For women only!!

Friday mornings 9:15-10:45 .

Shakti Circles –Begins September 8-October 13th

Investment- $108.00

Gather with a small group of women to practice yoga , move, chant, share and empower each other to live in our wholeness.

What will you receive from Shakti Circles?

  •  A deep understanding of your emotional cycles and how to be in relationship with our fluctuating energies.
  • Tools to honor, guide & hone your emotions.
  • How to regulate with self care, yoga, food & meditation.
  • Goddess wisdom to understand the flavors of who you are.
  • Mudras, mantras and meditations for women to balance her emotions.
  • Once you figure out your cycle you will know how to maximize your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

 

I’m back in Boulder from a 5 month whirlwind of an adventure out to Southern California with my husband and 2 boys. I have not left Boulder for that long since my trip to India back in 1997. When I went to India, I knew what to expect to some degree. All my friends who had gone had shared with me how India will strip you down and crack you open. This trip however was not so predictable. I thought we’d be moving to warm, sunny Malibu for a chill winter by the ocean. It wasn’t quite that. It was rainy, windy, foggy and chilly much of the time. There was failure, disappointment and plenty of chaos. Nothing of what we expected. I had to surrender like never before.

 

Living by the ocean can be tumultuous. Unlike Boulder, everything is always in motion. You have to learn how to surf even if it is just metaphorically. Whenever we tried to find the stable ground it wasn’t there. It was unpredictable, flexing and changing all the time. We hit rock bottom at times, getting caught in the waves, tumbling and scraping along the sandy bottom of the sea. There is a way in which you come out of those moments wasted and tumbled but stronger and more resilient because of it. It reminds me of a line from David Whyte’s poem “Working Together”: “We shape ourselves to fit the world and by the world are shaped again.” My daily practice became about tuning into my inner compass and navigating center amidst the movement.

 

I feel shaped in a beautiful new way. I am more myself than ever. It’s as though the ocean cleared away lifetimes of old patterns that got in the way of being the contribution that I’m here to be. I am no longer running or searching for something else. My life is not perfect but I know my power as a woman on this planet at this time. I have a clear vision of my soul’s purpose. It’s May 18th and it’s snowing outside. Nothing is predictable anymore and there’s nothing to hold onto from the past. On some crazy level I am coming to peace with the uncertainty of life and from there asking the universe, “What do I want to dream in??”

 

Today I practiced loving my body.
Why?
Because I’ve been judging it.
Most of the time I feel really good inside my body but given some of our circumstances lately, I haven’t. In my meditation this morning, I decided I would focus my attention on loving my body, every single part of it. I put my hands lovingly on each part, offering unconditional and love and presence.  I was not trying to fix it, change it or heal it.  I just stayed present. 
No matter what our body looks or feels like, there is something beautiful in the reflection it gives. It is the embodiment of the sacred feminine in all her forms.
If I am an expression of the great Maha Shakti, who am I to judge her??  
Today I’m putting a call out to all women. Practice self care daily. Make it a part of your to do list.  Make yourself a delicious healthy meal, take a bath, treat yourself to a massage or massage yourself with rose oil. Meditate with unconditional love on the parts you are judging. It is time that we as women, honor the divine mother and the sacred feminine as our bodies in the here and now.
I’ll share with you an inspiring excerpt from the great Kundalini master Yogi Bhajan to remind us all to keep loving our bodies as expressions of light and love.
 
“The archetype of the Divine Mother and the Sacred Feminine is as old as time, deeply imbedded into every cell of a woman’s body. As a woman, she must keep both aspects of her nature—woman and mother—in tune and alert to the world around her. As an embodiment of the Sacred Feminine, she balances her commanding nature, her sharpness, with compassion, rhythm, and grace. As an embodiment of the Divine Mother, she takes tiny seeds or ideas and nurtures them into full-fledged creations—poetry, painting, cooking, children, formulas, theorems, corporations—even nations. She makes things happen. She uses her intuition and awareness to guide her decisions, and guard and protect herself, her family, and her interests, even as she’s able to call upon her Divine Feminine to elevate and transcend those personal interests and cultivate relationships that serve everyone’s highest goo” – Yogi Bhajan

This morning my husband and I took our morning walk on the beach. We hold this time as an opportunity to deepen our dialogue around our visions and what we want to manifest in our lives. Today we were talking about the challenge of not knowing what’s next as we come to the last two months of our journey here on the west coast. Moments later we came upon some whales on the rocky tip of Point Dume, our favorite walk where the mountains meet the sea. We were also awakened last night by an owl outside our bedroom hooting for hours as if it were speaking to us directly. I am hearing the nature spirits loud and clear on this land. They are teaching us to navigate through the unknown, rest in the unrest and be open to the possibilities that we can’t yet see. I sense many of us are experiencing this as we navigate through these times collectively. It’s uncomfortable and at times I find myself wanting to run home to comfort and safety. Then I wonder if that even exists for me in the same way anymore.

The ocean is such a force and can be scary. As we stood on the rocks, waves powerfully and violently crashing into shore, I let that force move through my whole body.  It was exhilarating! I’ve found that spending this intimate time with the ocean has been transformative on so many levels. If you allow it to, it tosses and tumbles you on every level, showing you what needs to be let go of and refining you like a pearl in an oyster; into the essence of who you truly are. I am humbled by natures teachings and hold a vision that together we open our arms wide to the great mystery of life!!!

Last night an owl sat outside my bedroom on a telephone pole. I went out on the deck and stood with it. After a bit it flew off. Then it came back and I feel asleep to it hooting.
In many cultures Owl is a symbol for wisdom. This is because Owl can see that which others cannot, which is the essence of true wisdom. Where others are deceived, Owl sees and knows what is there.
Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, had a companion Owl on her shoulder which revealed unseen truths to her. Owl had the ability to light up Athena’s blind side, enabling her to speak the whole truth, as opposed to only a half truth.
I spent the weekend in retreat with 3 women in northern California this weekend.  When women spend time together we go into non-linear time and time stretches out. We access unknown territories in our selves because innately, we know how.  We hold council and space for one another to express our deepest truths an
d non-truths.  There is something about being in circle with women at this critical time that for me seems to bring on the healing that is necessary on the planet more rapidly.
I feel this owl came to me the night I returned home from my weekend to give me the message to trust in the magic and in my own clairvoyance and not to be afraid of the unseen world.  As a little girl I could feel the mystery of the world in nature.  There was no separation.  I’ve always had nature as my salvation but now, I am remembering so much more of who I am and how to be aware of all that is around me at all times.
Pay close attention to the animal spirits.  They have great wisdom to share with us at this time.

We are officially into March. Both of my kids were born this month and I’m always reminded of this time of birth and renewal. Our theme this month of March will be exploring one of the ethical principles of Yoga in the niyamas called santosha which means complete contentment or acceptance. The niyamas are an important part of our yoga practice as they represent a shift in emphasis from the external/behavior to internal/attitude.

 

Santosha is about actively cultivating appreciation for what we already have. Contentment shouldn’t be confused with laziness or passivity.  In fact, in the Yogic view, it is exactly the opposite: being appreciative of who we are and what we have actually helps us achieve the physical and mental state from which it is most effective and powerful to act.  When we let go of the need to control or change our external situation we open and allow space for something new to emerge.

 

I have been in deep practice with this in the last weeks here in California. Things haven’t turned out the way we expected. We are living in a small villa, on top of each other without any personal space and at times I want to pull my hair out. Change is never easy. This is a big change for us as a family. But the more I fight against it, the harder it seems to get. When I consciously practice santosha it helps me to pause and appreciate things as they are; I am able to relax inside and see a different perspective.

 

How we can apply santosha on and off our mat may look like giving up our need to be somewhere or someone we are not and just be with ourselves in the moment. To rest inside ad listen to the breath and feel the body softening. Santosha invites us to pause, open our eyes a little more and accept ourselves just as we are. From there, we can see a much broader view of the world.

 

I’ve been settling into this new place here on the west coast for two and a half weeks now. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions and feelings and the ride continues.  I have moments where I feel like I’ve gone down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, not knowing which way is up and where home is.  Other times I feel like I’ve landed in paradise!

One of the most profound teachings came to me through a Tantric Scholar years ago when I was a new mom and I had similar feelings of losing my self.

“In our deepest wounds and insecurities lie our greatest jewels and assets. If we are willing to mine our most vulnerable places, we discover the golden nuggets that guide our path”. I find myself today, as I write these words after many years of churning through my spiritual practice in Boulder, CO, that in this transition I have chosen a much bigger change that could only occur by leaving my home of 25 years.

I am becoming aware of how I’ve hidden my wounds in the security of home and comfort. How much I counted on this is being revealed here as I sit in the discomfort of being in the unknown, untethered. I’ve been waking in the mornings, offering a prayer of gratitude and asking for guidance to turn these deeper wounds I’ve been hiding into strengths. Here’s a prayer I’ve been doing in the mornings I thought I’d share:

Dear Goddess,

Please show me how to walk this path of sacredness not secrecy. Help me become transparent with myself and my shadows so that I may serve and offer my gifts to others with love and compassion from the highest place. As I begin this new year and new journey may I say yes to joy and fullness and I know my value and worth from head to toe. I bow deeply to the continuous teachings I receive from Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance and generosity.   My prayer is that we all find it in us to do the work of turning of turning our poison into medicine so we can overcome our fears and bring beauty and love to the world. I’m grateful to all of my teachers (including my children and husband) who show me this pathway every day!

With All My Love,

Alison

In the midst of packing to go on an adventure to the west coast for the winter I am planning my fourteenth annual women’s Solstice practice. We are calling in the Hindu Goddess Chinnamasta, the headless goddess of radical self-transcendance. From the yogic spiritual tradition, the condition of the headless state represents in fact our true inner nature, of the divine and perfectly detached witness. She’s known for holding her own head and drinking the blood from her decapitated head. I know, it’s rather extreme but given the fact that we seem to be in very extreme and polarized times I find her to be a very helpful energy to engage with.

 

Her image is shocking and disturbing and yet she is the power of consciousness to see itself. She stand’s naked and raw in her truth. Her blood represents our own nourishment. I had my head chopped off last night just moments after reading about her. A curveball came right at my husband and I. He had his own process and I literally broke down and could no longer think straight. I felt I was being challenged to look fearlessly and ask “Who am I, really?”. I knew in every bone of my body that from that point on I would have to be willing to step beyond all my comfort zones and trust in the unfolding of what was in front of us in order to move forward. I was being asked to sacrifice my ego in the service of something bigger and greater to emerge.

 

“Hum, hum, hum”……..I chanted over and over as I sobbed in the uncertainty of what was to come. I was aware of her energy asking me to drink the shakti of my own pain, daring me to see into my own raw authenticity; both my shadow and light. “Show me this place that I am broken and show me how I am to enter a new level of self-transcendence”, I asked.

 

In Sally Kempton’s book, Awakening Shakti she says “The path of consciousness demands that we look at both our light and our shadow gifts, to know what needs to be contained and harvested inwardly and what we can appropriately give to others. The image of Chinnamasta so often shows up for us when we are experiencing a form of inner death and rebirth. In a deep transformative process, we willingly become naked, offering up our excuses, our outworn defense strategies, and our masks for the sake of healing. Anyone willing to look into and heal their own unconscious wounding is actually giving a gift to the culture at large: because they do it, others can share the wisdom of their journey. A stream of wisdom rises up when you have severed the head of your unconscious acquiescence to shadow dynamics. Because you have done it, others can also do it”.

 

 

Today was a new day. I woke up to the snow falling lightly and the beautiful stillness that this winter morning brings. There was new possibility in front of my husband and me. A new opening that we had not been able to see  before last night. We could both see ourselves more directly, in our naked, authentic selves: in our true power. Everything we think we know we are being asked to let go of. These times are anything but easy. The old way is dying for real and we are now in the flames of the fire.

 

I feel many of us are honing our warrior skills for these times ahead. To be a great warrior we must look at our own pain and enemies within and be able to drink the blood as Chinnamasta does. As I spoke of earlier we are all in a process of inner death and rebirth wether we are conscious of it or not. If we choose to go in and face all of ourselves, we can then use our powerful life-blood, awakened kundalini energy to nourish ourselves and those around us.

 

So I leave you with these questions for yourself in these uncertain times on the planet:  Who are you without your normal roles, without the head of your thoughts? What is left when you let go of your mind?  Can you tap into your stored passion, your life force and drink the bliss of your own blood?

Blessings all ways,

Alison

 

 

 

 

 

I feel many of us are honing our warrior skills for these times ahead. To be a great warrior we must look at our own pain and enemies within and be able to drink them as Chinnamasta does. Then we must use our powerful life-blood, awakened kundalini energy to nourish ourselves and those around us.

 

As we enter this time of the Winter Solstice, the darkest and longest night of the year, we stand in the midst of so many unprecedented shifts on the earth and particularly within our own country. How we step through this time of the year, MATTERS. It is a powerful time to witness and listen to the call that runs deep within us and share it in community.

Through the darkness there is always light, when life throws its obstacles at us we can shield ourselves by turning inside, and listening to what’s under the surface.  Darkness exists, as without it, there would be no light. I believe there has been a huge shadow in our country that has been lurking just under the surface and is revealing its ugly face now.  It’s not pretty but many say it is all part of the unfolding of what needs to happen for us to take this next step in our evolution.

I am looking at my own shadow and demons and seeing where I have been out of alignment in myself.  I see this time as an opportunity for those of us committed to the light, to dig deep and seek the warrior strength that is needed to face these times ahead. When we realize our inner strength and that we have choice, we need not fear the darkness.   With the power of choice and intention, I think we have a huge opportunity to live into an a new frequency, connected to an infinite source of love and consciousness.  As the Hopi prophet says:

“There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.   They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination.  The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.   And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.”

So on this shortest day of the year, I invite you to celebrate the Winter Solstice with me, leaving behind your fears of what the future holds, deepen your roots, connect with nature and hold the vision for the future you desire.

Winter Solstice rituals and celebrations serve to remind us not to become fully engulfed by darkness, but rather choose to understand it and the gift it can bestow. To recognize that this darkness is not just the physical darkness of winter, but also the darkness that creeps into our minds, clouds our vision.

If you have the opportunity, gather with friends, Light candles, have a fire and burn away anything you want to let go of.  Speak what you are grateful for or something you wish for another person.  Create an offering for nature around you and the animals beings.  Together let’s ignite the inner light and spread the intention for a new cycle of love, strength and rebirth!!

If you are in Boulder, CO.  please join me for my annual Women’s Solstice Practice December 18th from 3-6pm.  For more information go here.

Here’s a beautiful chant from the Upanishads. Happy Solstice celebrations!

Asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya

Lead me from Untruth to Truth

Lead me from Darkness to Light

Lead me from Death to Immortality

(Brhadaranyaka Upanishad — I.iii.28)

Join us for a taster evening to preview our Costa Rica Retreat, Radiant Union in February 2017. This evening will be an evening of healing and embodiment through various modalities and group processes. In these mini salon sessions Jenny, Ce and I will be offering powerful medicine that supports us on the path of self healing and awakening to our true essence the evening includes:
  • kinesiology
  • hands on touch and healing
  • embodiment practice and energy work
  • herbal cordials
  • guided meditations

We will tap into our body wisdom and feel and celebrate the radiant energy of being alive here now, feeling the power that life offers us when we change our perspective and belief systems as well as our relationship to our bodies and the earth.
Come gather with us in community on Tuesday, October 18th from 7-9pm at my home studio in downtown Boulder.

IMG_0011

Space is limited so please rsvp to [email protected] if you want to join us!

Cost: $25

Recent Posts

Tuesday October 18th 7:00-9:00 pm

Wednesday  November 16th 7:00-9:00 pm